By Jack Gurner
WATER VALLEY – An early morning fire Tuesday destroyed the home of Hugh Nicholson on East Lee Street.
Area residents were awakened by the noise of the fire just after 1 a.m. A woman on adjacent Thornton Street called 911 to report a disturbance after hearing the commotion on East Lee.
Police officer Steve Story was responding to the disturbance call from the west side of town when he reported to the dispatcher that he could see a house “fully involved.” Firefighting equipment was dispatched at 1:11 and arrived on the scene at 1:13.
Firefighters searched the house because of initial concerns that Nicholson might still be inside the burning structure. A neighbor said, “Hugh is usually at home. I’m scared he’s still in there.”
Fire Chief Mike Defer confirmed that no one was in the house and Nicholson talked with officials before noon on Tuesday at the fire department.
Six full-time firemen and seven volunteers fought the blaze, but were only able to control the spread of the fire because it was so far along before being reported.
Firefighters were on the scene until 3:30, according to Chief Defer.